Freo's View

FREMANTLE MP CALLS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

Posted in city of fremantle, covid-19, federal government, health, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 10, 2020

 

Fremantle Federal MP Josh Wilson has called for the Morrison government to change its rules and support local governments, as many of our councils are in financial difficulties because of the Covid-19 crisis, and some might have to let staff go.

Fremantle is losing a lot of revenue because of lack of parking fees and fines, no income from concerts at the arts centre, no income from the Leisure Centre and no income from commercial property leases, etc.

Josh Wilson says:

“Local governments are working to reduce fees, rents, and parking charges to assist households and businesses through this difficult time, and they are delivering new support services for those struggling to deal with self-isolation, especially the elderly. But these changes affect the bottom line for local government, and the mandated closure of many public facilities means both a loss of revenue and the need to stand-down thousands of employees.
 
It makes no sense whatsoever for local government to be excluded from the JobKeeper package. Labor led the push for a wage subsidy in response to the crisis and we support the introduction of the $130 billion package, but it could and should have been broader in its scope. In parliament the government blocked Labor’s amendments, but the parliament has already given the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, the ability to make adjustments and so the exclusion of local government can be repaired at the stroke of his pen.

As it stands there will be millions of Australian workers who will not be provided with decent wage-replacing support, and who will unnecessarily be disconnected from their employing business or organisation. That puts a sharp burden on displaced workers and it means we will not be in the best position to recover when the crisis has past.

Local government is a foundation stone of community services and attractions in the form of libraries, recreation facilities, and broad arts and cultural activities. On the other side of this crisis we will need local government to lead the way in re-opening and rebuilding. The phase we are in now is survival. In the recovery phase local government will be a key partner in delivering projects, services, and events that will create work, attract visitors, support business, and encourage the broader community to get back to an active and engaged life together. But this will be seriously hampered if local government has been unnecessarily smashed and shrunken in the meantime.

 In Cockburn, each month of closure will see Cockburn ARC forgo $1 million in revenue that’s ordinarily used to cover staffing costs. For now, the City of Cockburn is retaining the ARC’s 38 full and part-time staff and 200 casual workers, but that is an almost $1 million commitment that will be shouldered by ratepayers.

In Fremantle, the city will lose almost $700,000 per month in revenue with the closure of the Fremantle Leisure Centre, Fremantle Arts Centre, and loss of lease income where businesses have closed. The jobs of more than 200 Fremantle local government workers are at risk.”

Fremantle senior staff and elected members have agreed on a voluntary 20 per cent pay cut for six months, and while that is appreciated it will make little difference in compensating for the severely decreased revenue of the City.

Roel Loopers

CITIZENSHIP DRESS CODE IS UNAUSTRALIAN

 

citizenship, tiff

 

The directions from the Federal Government to local councils to make the Australia Day citizenship ceremonies more formal and enforce a dress code are as ridiculous as they are un-Australian.

Australians are loved around the world for their daggy dress sense, and that is understandable when one knows that thongs, ugg boots and singlets are considered fashion items in the land down under.

A citizenship ceremony is not about dress code or formality, but all about new Australians committing themselves to their new country, and as an immigrant myself I know what a big step that is to take, and even more when one loses the  passport from one’s birth country, as I did.

Becoming a new Australian is showing acceptance of one’s new home and culture and it is a very proud moment to receive the citizenship certificate from the mayor. It is wanting to be part of the nation, being allowed to vote and being eligible to stand for local, state and federal government. It is not only a privilege to become an Australian, but also a strong commitment.

Many people turn up at the ceremonies in dresses, shirts or T-shirts made out of the Australian flag, and others turn up in their national dress from their birth country. Some come in shorts, and why not on a stinking hot day in a country where boardies are the norm.

There is no disrespect in dressing who we are and what reflects our personality, and it is nonsense to believe people will turn up in formal wear to become citizens of a country that prides itself on freedom of choice.

Only three more weeks till Australia Day, and I am looking forward to being at the Fremantle ceremony, although we will celebrate our city’s diversity at the ONE DAY event a couple of days later.

And ‘well done’ again TRANSPERTH for closing the Fremantle line from January 27-30 at night, after the 7.55pm train to Perth. All those who want to come to the One Day concert on the Esplanade will now have to hop on buses. Our WA public transport authorities closed the Freo train line a few years in a row during the Fremantle Street Festival as well. Very inconsiderate!

Roel Loopers

HOMELESSNESS WEEK A REMINDER OF AUSTRALIA’S SHAME

 

Aug 5 Homelessness Week

 

It is HOMELESSNESS WEEK so a reminder that many thousands of Australians sleep rough on the streets and in the wet and cold every night without protection for their safety. It is estimated that there are 9,000 homeless people in WA and we see quite a few in Fremantle as well.

Homelessness is shameful in a wealthy country like Australia and its needs to be prioritised by our federal and state governments because a very large percentage of homeless people are under the age of 18. They especially deserve our care and protection.

Roel Loopers

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FREO MP JOSH WILSON IN SHADOW CABINET

Posted in city of fremantle, election, environment, federal government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on June 3, 2019

 

Congratulations to Fremantle Federal MP Josh Wilson who was appointed Assistant Shadow Minister for the Environment by new Labor leader Anthony Albanese.

I was impressed with Josh Wilson when he was on Fremantle Council and always knew he would step up pretty fast in Canberra.

Well done and good luck Josh!

Roel Loopers

G’DAY. IT’S STILL A GREAT COUNTRY

 

One lesson we need to learn from this election is that we should not allow politicians to run fear campaigns, and that applies to all parties!

Fear divides the community and fear allows politicians to take more and more of our liberties from us, because they claim that only then will we live in a safe society.

What we-all of us-need to do is create an environment of trust and safety where we communicate respectfully with one another, instead of campaigns of accusation, innuendo and fear.

Fear makes us less tolerant and less accepting of those with different views, but the others are not the enemy, they are fellow Australians who believe in different solutions and options. That does not make them bad people, or worse than we are, they are different and have the same high hopes for the future as we do. They just believe that it can be achieved in different ways.

When we still live in a country that believes in the urban myth of fair go, we need to grow up and accept that we are not the best country in the world, but among many really great countries. And we need to acknowledge that we are far from perfect and like everywhere else on earth we are looking for strong leadership, but what we are getting instead is political parties who just want to beat the other party. It is about them, not us and that is not good, and only we can change that by demanding better governance.

We cannot blame those who are unemployed for wanting jobs and we cannot even blame them that climate change is not a priority when you are struggling to put food on the table.

Those of us who were hoping for a new government in Canberra are very disappointed, but the sun is shining and the sky is blue in Fremantle and most of us have a roof over our head, so let’s reflect and be grateful for what we have instead of being disappointed.

Australia is still a relatively young country and we have to endure the growing pains. We can do that by nurturing more and criticising less.

Have a brilliant Sunday. The sun will rise again tomorrow and we will still wake up in a peaceful country that offers many opportunities, so embrace that.

Roel Loopers

TOO COLD FOR EARLY FREO VOTING

 

voting 4

voting 2

 

It is a very crisp morning in Fremantle so voters must have decided to sleep in a bit longer as it was extremely quiet at the two polling stations I went to.

No queues at Fremantle Primary School and at St Patrick’s Primary, so I was in and out in two minutes.

I could not resist the backlit poster where it appears the ScoMo mob is behind bars. 😳

 

Roel Loopers

 

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IT IS DEMOCRACY DAY!

Posted in australia, city of fremantle, democracy, election, federal government, Uncategorized by freoview on May 18, 2019

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It’s D Day for Australia. Decision Day-Democracy Day, and to find out if all together we were intelligent enough to not get sucked in by Palmer’s rubbish and the one-sided pro Liberal reporting of the West Australian and Murdoch press.

The best thing about election days is that it is the end of boring and negative election campaigns and that there is a sausage sizzle and cake stall at many of the schools where we lodge our vote.

In about 13 hours from now (it is 6.42am as I write this) we should know if we got a new PM or if the old one has managed to hold on. Good luck Australia!

Roel Loopers

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THANK YOU BOB HAWKE!

RIP Bob Hawke. A man of principles and values, willing to take risks, trying to find consensus and bringing people together instead of dividing them.

He was also a big fighter against racism. A brilliant man has died.

He changed Australia for the better. Thanks Bob!

Roel Loopers

NOTHING NEW AT FREMANTLE ELECTION DEBATE

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, federal government, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on May 8, 2019

 

The Fremantle Candidate Debate at Tannock Hall was never going to be a great debate with the absence of the Liberal Party candidate, so it was not surprising that there were fewer people in the audience than at previous election debates. It did not help either that ScoMo and Shorto were having a third TV debate at the same time.

I had been hoping for a few laughs listening to the One Nation candidate, but could only feel sorry for the politically inadequate mumbling Brett Weary who clearly was enormously out of his depth. What was funny though that he kept enthusiastically nodding whenever Socialist Alliance candidate Sam Wainwright spoke. If Pauline only knew.

The gross inaction on climate change by the present Australian government was lamented by Greens candidate Jesse Hutchinson who said we needed to get out of the coal business and change the narrative to renewable energy. Sam Wainwright for the Socialist Alliance agreed and said it was as if we are in a bus with a lunatic in the driver’s seat. “Forgo the profits and stop selling coal to the world.”

Labor MP Josh Wilson said it all depended on what Australia was going to do about climate change and that his party will take action, if elected. They would supercharge renewable energy. While the current government does not believe in climate change Labor has a clear policy and are ambitious about what can be done. “We have to make a start!”

Janetia Knapp for the Western Australian Party said that Aboriginal people knew how to look after the environment, that wildlife was disappearing and landfill affecting the environment.

What about electric cars? Josh Wilson said we are so far behind the rest of the world in Australia, while Jesse Hutchinson promised we can be the world leader in electric cars and reach a 100% electric car use by 2030. Youthful optimism or naivety?

It was a rather strange question what the next Federal Government would do about Fremantle’s retail challenge, and Josh Wilson rightly pointed out that the challenge is not unique to Fremantle but is happening all over Perth and Australia.

Sam Wainright said better public transport needed to be provided to those living outside of Freo so that it would be easier to get into town without a car. The One Nation candidate though that we just needed to relocate Adventure World into Fremantle and all our retail worries would be over.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme has structural flaws and people do not get the quality of support they need, and there is not enough support for people who need to be out in the community. The cultural leadership of the NDIS has to be provided by people with a disability, Josh Wilson suggested.

Homelessness was also a topic with 16,000 youth under the age of 12 being without shelter in Australia. Janetia Knapp said kids as young as seven were roaming the streets at night because for some it was not safe to go home. “Governments need to talk to the Aboriginal people!”

Jesse Hutchinson said it was a disgrace and nobody should have to sleep rough. Raising Newstart would help them pay the rent, and education can help liberate kids. Homelessness is a big issue and needs to be a national priority!

There is far too much under-employment of young people and Janetia Knapp questioned why Aboriginal youth can’t get work even when they have the right qualifications.

Sam Wainwright said that small businesses should share the responsibility of training, that migrant workers were not the issue, but those on temporary working visas are.

Jesse Hutchinson said we needed to ask ourselves what work in the future would look like. “Bring back the free Uni and TAFE”  That got thunderous applause in the Notre Dame University hall.

Josh Wilson said that 9 out of 10 future jobs would at least require TAFE level education and that Labor would give more funding to public schools and TAFE. “We have not closed the gap (as far as Aboriginal education is concerned).

What to do about the distrust and disengagement of political parties being at an all-time high? The Greens candidate said that the massive corporate donations needed to stop. “Clean up politics and bring it back to the people!”

Josh Wilson believed that the lack of trust came from media sensationalism and that politicians needed to lead by example by being open, trustworthy and honest.

All in all there was nothing said that we had not heard before, and no doubt many of it will be relentlessly repeated over the next ten days.

For me the best moment of an election campaign is when it is over.

Roel Loopers

 

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